Yes Men (2004) – movie review

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Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno

Directors: Dan Ollman, Chris Smith, Sarah Price

Every now and then there comes a film that opens your eyes a little wider to what is going on out there in the world and this documentary is one of those rare films that accomplishes this in a very unorthodox but extremely effective way.

Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno are The Yes Men, two guys who are against the manipulative economic schemes implemented by most big corporations like the World Trade Organisation (WTO). To instigate their ruse they set up a phoney WTO website and to their pleasant surprise some visitors to their site take them for the real WTO. This is where the film really picks up its pace as The Yes Men receive invitations in the capacity of the WTO to attend conferences across the world to make presentations.

The Yes Men eagerly jump at this chance to strike out at their main nemesis the WTO. They prepare a ludicrous set of presentations designed to make delegates realise that the whole thing is a scam, but to their shock almost nobody ever questions them even after one particularly hilarious presentation of a managerial monitoring suit that has, a phallus’ (a representation of the penis and testes as an embodiment of generative power) in an erect position sticking out of it as a means of monitoring workers across the globe via a little screen stuck at the tip of the phallus.

The film starts off a little slow as The Yes Men explain how they originated but this doesn’t last for long as they are soon off on their trips around the world masquerading as WTO employees. The Yes Men themselves are both very sharp and socially aware individuals. They are also extremely cunning and convincing as they fool delegate after delegate. This film allows the viewer to have a look at just what goes on in all these so called policy changing conferences attended by very intelligent people who prove not to be as smart as their numerous qualifications would suggest. This revelation is both very funny and very worrying because these policies that are so readily accepted could having life changing implications for a lot of people around the world.

THE YES MEN is a brilliant documentary that should be essential viewing for any economically and socially conscious individual. With a great combination of laughs and shocking realisations about big corporations, look out for the hare brained McDonalds/WTO food recycling scheme, it’s pure genius.

4 out of 6 stars